Juvenile Court Judge Charles Maxfield ruled yesterday that 17-year-old John Lee Malvo, a suspect in last year’s sniper case, will be tried as an adult in Virginia. This ruling makes Malvo eligible for the death penalty.
The ruling is completely justified. First, 17 is close enough to adulthood. Malvo should know at that age that killing is wrong. Beyond that, anyone who would terrorize a region for weeks, threaten the police and try to extort $10 million from authorities more than deserves to be tried as an adult.
Not only did Malvo help commit these murders, he also didn’t seem to care about them. June Boyle, a detective for the Fairfax, Va., police interviewed Malvo and described him as calm, relaxed and jovial.
Anyone who can be calm after aiding in the murder of 13 people and the wounding of five others must be capable of standing trial as an adult. Further, Malvo seemed to be in a good mood during his interview. That attitude shows a lack of appreciation for human life, and now, since Malvo will be tried as an adult, there’s more chance he’ll receive a fair punishment for his actions.
The people harmed in the sniper shootings were innocent victims of Malvo and John Allen Muhammad’s game. These people had families. One was a child. There is no reason for Malvo to get off easier by being tried as a juvenile.
Maxfield made the right decision, because Malvo, underage or not, knew his actions were wrong. Committing a murder — intentionally ending the life of another human being — is never excusable, and the sniper attacks were by no means an accident.